The Hanjin Mess: a Global Supply Chain Crisis
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) features a front page article today about the dramatic aftermath of the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping, one of the world’s largest shipping lines. The South Korean ocean carrier had filed for bankruptcy protection last week. As a result, dozens of vessels around the world were rejected by ports and couldn’t get their cargo discharged. Some of the company’s ships have even been seized.
The Journal’s report highlights the massive impact of this supply chain disruption that couldn’t have come at a more precarious time. For many retailers, this is the time of the year to import merchandize for the upcoming holiday season. According to the Journal, more than 300,000 containers are still stuck on vessels at this time.
Stacked on top of each other, these containers would build a pile that is 483 miles high. If you stood on top of this pile at the Port of New York, you could see all the way to Detroit.
Lined up next to each other, the containers would build a line that’s as long as US Interstate 95, along the entire east coast of the United States, from the Canadian border to Miami, Florida. Incredible.
According to the WSJ, $14bn worth of merchandise is still stuck inside those containers. The Journal also reported that the Korean Shippers Council, which represents more than 60,000 trading companies, said Wednesday that its members “have not been able to figure out the whereabouts of their freight.”
Organizations that manage their global supply chain on the GT Nexus Platform are in much better shape. As soon as news of the situation broke last week, the companies could use the cloud-based supply chain and logistics platform to identify immediately which shipments were effected and they were able to prevent larger damage by reacting quickly, early on.
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